What to expect at The World of Tim Burton exhibition in KL this March 2023

“One person's craziness is another person's reality.”


By Natalie Khoo

Photos courtesy of The World of Tim Burton
What to expect at The World of Tim Burton exhibition in KL this March 2023

Can’t get enough of Tim Burton’s gothic fantasy and eccentric horror worlds? Good news—the American filmaker is bringing the world tour of his exhibition to Kuala Lumpur very soon! Specifically, mark your calendars from 21 March to 30 July 2023 as The World of Tim Burton will debut in Southeast Asia for the first time ever at Pavilion Bukit Jalil. 

Burton’s first art exhibition premiered in New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in 2009, where it garnered over 800,000 visitors—making it the third highest attended exhibition in the museum’s history. This sparked the conception of the World of Tim Burton, reconceptualised from its original MoMa success and designed for touring the world. 

Since then, tour stops have included institutions such as the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul Korea; City Gallery, Prague; the Mori Arts Center Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; the Max Ernst Museum, Brühl, Germany; and ArtisTree Gallery, Hong Kong.

Organised by Toybox Projects in partnership with Eurasian Entertainment Consultants Ltd and KOL Nation, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey through Burton’s distinctive worlds, with approximately 540 works dating back to his childhood. Think drawings, paintings, photographs, sketchbooks, moving-image works, and sculptural installations that focus on the recurrent visual themes and motifs found in Burton’s art and films.

What’s more, there will be about 150 new works not seen in the MoMa exhibition, giving audiences the opportunity to deep dive into the director’s sensibility. If you’ve enjoyed his films such as Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and most recently, the Wednesday series on Netflix (2023), then this is one exhibition you won’t want to miss!



For a memorable experience, the exhibition divides Burton’s extensive career of five decades into 10 thematic sections. Each section consists of paintings, drawings, photographs, videos, multimedia art, sculptures and more. In addition, there will be a special opportunity to take a sneak peek into his current projects through the exact replica of Tim Burton’s personal studio where he actually works.

The ten sections span the following: 

  • Influences from his early childhood and career, paying homage to classic cartoonists and illustrators. 
  • Holidays that inspired his work, largely based on his upbringing in Burbank, California.
  • Carnivalesque—a blend of comedy and grotesque, which exemplifies Burton’s art and films.
  • Figurative Works, including some of his personal artworks unrelated to professional projects.
  • Misunderstood Outcast, featuring outsiders and “sympathetic monsters” from the stop-motion animated short film Vincent (1982) and the Hollywood blockbuster Alice in Wonderland (2010), to name a few.
  • Film Characters from familiar Burton films and worlds, from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) to Dumbo (2019). 
  • Polaroids taken by Burton himself between 1992 and 1999, informing his visual themes and motifs. 
  • Around the World, featuring shooting locations, film festivals, and publicity tours that offered inspiraiton and subject matter. 
  • Unrealised Projects, comprising works from Burton’s film, television, and book projects that were halted in various stages of development
  • The Artist’s Studio—a replica of the space where the artist’s passion and imaginative spirit comes to live, including the works for his latest TV series project, Wednesday.

Suffice to say, The World of Tim Burton is set to present the full range of his creative pursuits, revealing a versatile artist whose idiosyncratic vision transcends mediums and formats.



Tickets for The World of Tim Burton exhibition at Pavilion Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur will be available via KOL Nation and TicketCharge from 11 January, 2023, as well as at the exhibition venue from 21 March, 2023 until 30 July, 2023. Early bird pricing (until 21 January 2023)  for adults is priced at RM68, while the regular ticket for adults is priced at RM88 (after 21 January 2023). 

For more information, visit this website.


In the meantime, you may want to visit the Van Gogh Alive exhibition that’s happening at Paviliion Bukit Jalil now until 16 March 2023!


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